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The turtles are coming!

A loggerhead turtle hatchling. Photo NPWS.

In an effort to educate humans about our oceanic neighbours, an information session will be held in Kingscliff with answers to some salty questions.

Sea turtle hatchlings are beginning to emerge from their nests across the Tweed and the free session aims to make sure as many hatchlings a possible make it to the ocean.

Project Officer from NSW TurtleWatch Holly West says they was a great community response to the turtle information session held in December 2019 and staff from the NSW TurtleWatch Program are returning to update the community about the current sea turtle nesting season.

‘Sea turtle hatchlings begin to emerge on local beaches anytime in January and continue through until May says Ms West. ‘Hatchlings can be affected by light pollution, marine debris, predators and coastal erosion.

‘Locals can help by keeping our beaches clear of marine debris that can easily entangle hatchlings or that they may later eat when they enter the ocean,’ she said.

‘It is estimated that only 1 out of 1,000 hatchlings survive to reach maturity so every hatchling we can assist into the ocean can help to make a difference,’ she said.

Tweed has had the highest number and density of sea turtle nests for the NSW coastline

Historically, the Tweed has had the highest number and density of sea turtle nests for the NSW coastline. There have previously been successful nests found on Dreamtime, Kingscliff, Casuarina and Pottsville beaches and this year a loggerhead turtle nested on the Tweed Coast over the Australia Day weekend.

‘It was below the high-tide line so thanks to quick actions from Australian Seabird Rescue staff and locals the nest could be relocated higher on the beach before being inundated by the water,’ sais Ms West.

‘All actions were taken under the guidance and permission of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service staff.’

Sea turtles have been around for over 100 million years and all species of sea turtle are considered threatened.

One of the big questions is, what happens to the nests after they have been laid and what can the public do to help? The community is invited to come along to an information session to find out what they can do. General Manager of Australian Seabird Rescue Olly Pitt will be there on the day to share some of the centre’s successful sea turtle rehabilitation stories.

The session will be held at the Kingscliff Community Hall, 81 Marine Parade, Kingscliff on Saturday 15 February from 10am – 12pm (NSW time).

For more information about the NSW TurtleWatch program, email [email protected] or visit: seabirdrescue.org.au or www.facebook.com/NSWTurtleWatch/.

If you see a hatchling please call Australian Seabird Rescue immediately on (02) 6686 2852.


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